‘I trust you.’ ‘I believe you.’ ‘Okay.’ Expressions of trust can seem simple, and can be a great gift to those who receive them. When we trust another person, we show respect, bolster confidence, and validate experience.
We are effectively saying, ‘I hear you,I believe you know what you’re talking about, and I am going to assume that you are capable and autonomous until proven otherwise.’ We are demonstrating a ‘firm belief in someone’s reliability, ability and truthfulness’ (thank you, Oxford Dictionary).
So far that sounds quite straightforward.
Yet in the context of chronic illness, trust can often be accepting your chronically ill Loved One’s assessment of their capabilities, believing their description of the situation, and assuming they have valid ideas, dreams and motivations.
‘Relationships are built on trust’ – that’s a phrase you hear often. But have you ever considered that trust might be more than a necessity? That it might actually be one of the greatest gifts you can give someone, particularly someone who is living with a chronic illness?
The Oxford dictionary defines trust as the ‘firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.’
Think about that for a moment. With this definition in mind, how would you feel if someone said, ‘I trust you’? I’d feel pretty good. I’d feel recognized, validated and affirmed. I’d feel more confident in myself. I’d feel challenged to ‘keep up the good work’. All that from three words.
What. A. Year. It’s my prayer that you are all able to take some time over the holidays to reflect, grieve and rejoice over 2020. I am planning on doing so soon. But for now, let’s all take a deep breath, and celebrate!
I promised some exciting news before I left on my Sabbatical-Which-Didn’t-Happen. Now it’s time to deliver… and what better time than Christmas? My heart longs for my exciting news to be a gift to you all, dear readers and fellow Watchers. It has certainly been a gift to me. A gift of God’s kindness, a demonstration of his faithfulness.
For a while this year I wasn’t sure I’d even have this gift to offer you, so uncertain was life with COVID and other circumstances. But because of God’s goodness and generosity, I can – and so I pray you will join me in celebration.
Two Sisters and a Brain Tumour: My Christmas gift
What is this mysterious gift, I hear you ask?
It’s this: Next year in August, my memoir, Two Sisters and a Brain Tumour will be published by Elephant House Press!
It is the story of my sister and I, the tumour which changed our lives, and the God who saved them. In 2015 my younger sister was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and my life was irretrievably altered. We went on a tumultuous journey together, and this is the story of that journey – the tears, the laughter, the crazy, quirky things which happen when you’re in hospital for 3 months, and the many kindnesses of friends, family, and strangers alike!
If you’re anything like me, you find ‘hospital stories’ rather depressing, and sometimes dry! I give you my word, I’ve done my best to make sure this story is anything but that. Rather than coming up with a list of ‘lessons learnt’ Two Sisters and a Brain Tumour is simply me opening up the window of our lives for three months, and inviting you along on the journey.
I’ll be sharing snippets of the memoir on the blog up until publication, so here’s three little snippets from the first chapter as an early Christmas gift!
Excerpts from Two Sisters and a Brain Tumour
You can read an x-ray and tell someone they’ve broken their wrist.
You can glance at a CT and tell someone they may have kidney stones.
You can’t study an MRI and tell someone they have a brain tumour.
Even if it’s true.
I haven’t quite finished my final year of radiography, but I still know this much.
A phone call
‘Jasmine had her MRI today. You know, the one the doctor -’
‘Anyway, they gave us the printed out scan right then! All the pictures. Is that normal?’
I shrug out of habit. ‘I don’t know. So there’s no report yet?’
‘No just the pictures, and Emily, I think she has something.’
‘Has something? Has what?’ A brain? Unexpected, certainly, but hardly worth a phone call. I crane my neck. Or a missed bus.
‘I don’t know, I can’t read it properly. I just looked at the brain and there’s something there, and I thought you’d be able to read it. When are you home?’
The back of the graffitied bus shelter rubs against the high wall of Rookwood Cemetery. It’s the largest burial ground in the southern hemisphere, according to Wikipedia. Ironic, really. A Health Science University campus, dedicated to saving lives, across the street from an overgrown, sprawling reminder of death.
Annoying little sisters don’t have ‘things in their brains’. The MRI will be normal.
I relax on the metal bench. It can’t possibly be otherwise…
Want to read more? For updates and more snippets throughout the year, add your email below.
Don’t worry, I won’t be flooding your inbox. Neither of us have time for that!
New monthly posts will begin again next year, and for now here are some of my reflections on Christmas, the New Year, and holidays in the context of chronic illness: